SARTELL (WJON News) -- The end of an era is nearing for the City of Sartell. Long-time Public Works Director John Kothenbeutel will be retiring on April 4th.

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Kothenbeuttel started with the city in 1994 and has worked in a number of different positions before becoming Assistant Public Works Director in 2005 and then Public Works Director in 2016. Kothenbeutel says leaving will be bittersweet:

"And it probably will be a little bittersweet but it gots to come to an end someday and I think I'm ready to go and we, me and my wife, have our kind of our life planned from here on out I hope and things will be good."

Paul Habstritt, WJON
Paul Habstritt, WJON
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He has seen Sartell really grow and a lot of things change over the years, especially technology, but Kothenbeuttel says he still likes to do certain things the old way:

"They always joke with me I'm old school I write everything down and you know in today's day and age nobody writes anything down. I had paper files up until Jill got here two months ago to go through all my files and get them scanned in and everything so."

He says it is amazing how fast the city developed:

"If you know the city, you know where city hall sat, of course, city hall it wasn't there at that time and everything really north and west of city hall there was nothing there. Pine Tree Pond, The Wild's, Grizzly Lane all that out there, there was nothing there that was all farm fields."

Paul Habstritt, WJON
Paul Habstritt, WJON
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Kothenbeutel says he was only the fifth or sixth employee when he was hired as a Laborer in 1994. Sartell Mayor Ryan Fitzthum says the city will miss Kothenbeutel's dedication, efficiency, and most of all his knowledge, and that he always did whatever the city asked of him:

"So he really became our go to, there were a lot of crazy ideas, at least in my tenure, that we brought to him and he didn't ask why we're doing that or what are we thinking he just said I'll find a way to get it done, and he certainly did."

Paul Habstritt, WJON
Paul Habstritt, WJON
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The Mayor says Kothenbeutel is the unsung hero of Sartell, and the city wants to recognize all the hard work he and his staff have done over the years because so much of it goes unnoticed.

Paul Habstritt, WJON
Paul Habstritt, WJON
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Kothenbeutel says the one thing he won't miss is getting up and having to drive a snow plow during the winter, but he will miss all the relationships he has made over the years. Before joining the City of Sartell Kothenbeutel worked for the Rochester Utility Department, as a commercial fisherman in Alaska, and at a Liquor store, and he plans to move to a new house he built with his wife in Omnamia to take it easy when he is done.

Paul Habstritt, WJON
Paul Habstritt, WJON
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